Presidential ElectionPresidential TransitionAmerican Government

Biden Begins Transition as Trump Challenges Election Results

Posted on in Presidential Election · Presidential Transition · American Government

President-elect Joe Biden announced key appointments to his transition team, even as President Trump continues to contest the election results. Past presidents-elect have counted on support from the outgoing administration to ensure a smooth transition of power.

President-elect Biden’s transition efforts were stymied, however, by a recalcitrant Trump administration. The GSA  has yet to ascertain a winner of the election preventing the incoming Biden administration from receiving federal assistance for the transition.

Instructors, click the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt and a debate question as well as other assessment questions.

Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for "Biden Begins Transition as Trump Challenges Election Results"


“As Trump refuses to concede, his agencies awkwardly prepare what they can for a Biden transition”
“Biden’s picks for transition team the latest sign of a radically different approach to immigration”
“Senate Republicans Back Push For President-Elect Biden To Get Intelligence Briefings”

“Biden advisors are increasingly concerned about the lack of intel briefings and Covid-19 coordination”

“Trump Rebuffs Biden Transition Team, Setting Off Virus and National Security Risks”
“Biden solidifies U.S. election win, Trump says ‘time will tell’ if he stays in power”
“Biden transition barrels forward while Trump administration stalls”
“The GSA holds the keys to the Trump-to-Biden transition. What is it?”


  • Writing: Describe the importance of cooperation between an outgoing and incoming administration. What specific problems could present themselves if the stalemate between the outgoing Trump administration and incoming Biden administration is not broken? 
  • Debate: The General Services Administration (GSA) should move quickly to accommodate President-elect Biden even as President Trump challenges the results of the election.
  • Poll: Should presidential transitions be managed by a nonpartisan organization or continue to depend on cooperation from the outgoing administration?
  • Short Answer: What should President Biden do to ensure a proper transition without the cooperation of the outgoing Trump administration?

Current events quiz:

1) The government agency charged with ascertaining the winner of the election before releasing funds for the presidential transition is the _______.

a. Department of Treasury
b. General Services Administration (GSA)
c. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
d. Federal Election Commission

2) Why is it considered important for the loser of a presidential election to concede and cooperate with the incoming president-elect?

a. the law requires that presidents concede
b. the presidential pension is tied to conceding a lost election
c. it is part of a peaceful transfer of power
d. presidents who concede are eligible to run again

3) According to the Presidential Transition Act, the GSA is required to do which of the following?

a. provide administrative support and office space to the president-elect
b. handle electoral disputes
c. administer supplies and office space to presidential campaigns
d. brief the president-elect on national security matters

4) President-elect Biden has not been able to commence any transition activities because of President Trump’s refusal to accept the results of the election. (T/F)

5) Conceding an election is not required by law, but it is considered an act of civility and facilitated a peaceful transfer of power. (T/F)

6) This is the first time in the nation’s history that the transition of a presumptive president-elect has been delayed. (T/F)


1) B

2) C

3) A

4) False

5) True

6) False


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